In polite society, you’re not supposed to talk about politics, sex, or religion. Sorry, but this column will discuss all three, directly or indirectly.

In America, we get the kind of government we deserve. Is this the best we can do?

There certainly is a big divide in how we approach politics, even among well-meaning Christians.

I was asked to speak at our church recently, and the title was given to me: “To vote or not to vote?” Are you serious? How can we not vote? We’re in such a mess because we haven’t been voting our values. I believe voting is imperative for the follower of Jesus.

Jesus said that we are to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s (Mark 12:17). Surely, included in rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s would include voting.

It’s our duty to cast a ballot. It’s also our privilege. I know a man personally who risked his life with six other Cubans to flee the communist island. They rowed for 48 long hours in a rickety row boat with a hole in it. One of them had to bail out the water all the time. After a while, their fingers were bleeding, but they finally made it to the Bahamas.

My Cuban friend is glad to be an American and is a patriot. He wouldn’t think of not voting.

Historically, Christians in America applied their faith to virtually every sphere of life, including  politics. While the founding fathers were not all Christians, the vast majority of them were, and virtually all of them had a biblical worldview. As historian Donald S. Lutz said of the founding fathers (even the unorthodox amongst them), “they knew the Bible down to their fingertips.”

So, for example, they divided power, since they knew man is sinful. James Madison, one of the key architects of the Constitution, noted: “All men having power ought not to be trusted.” This is a biblical perspective. Sometimes people complain that the Constitution limits the amount of power any one single branch may have. That was by design—lest we have tyranny from one man or from an oligarchy.

When we vote biblical values, we obey what the Lord would have us do. Jesus is not on the ballot, so ultimately we are voting for a sinner. But the question is, Where do those sinners stand on key issues?

Too often, Christians seem to be waiting for the perfect candidates and can’t bring themselves to vote for someone with many (but not all) right views. We need to vote for the available candidates with the best views, rather than waiting for the perfect candidate who’s not coming.

There are some Christians who are so upset with the current crop of politicians that they may sit this election out. But their non-vote is a vote—a vote for someone with whom they probably would disagree vehemently.

There are many lesser known candidates and amendments that will likely be on the ballot. It behooves us to learn a Christian perspective on these, before we go and vote.

Where do the candidates stand on abortion? On traditional marriage? On religious freedom? On fiscal responsibility? On educational issues? All of these are addressed by the Bible.

Speaking of fiscal responsibility, Proverbs 13:22 says, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” Yet today, as one person has said: “Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren.” I agree with that sentiment.

Who said it? Senator Barack Obama in 2006. Too bad as president, he has racked up a bill that seems beyond the reach of even our grandchildren to pay off.

In this country, which had such a godly foundation, we currently have the opportunity to vote our biblical values. But if we continue to lose our freedoms and fall prey to tyrannical government, ultimately, we will only have ourselves to blame.

My long-time pastor, the late D. James Kennedy, Ph.D. said this about Christians and politics in general: “I remember 20 years ago, a Christian said to me, ‘You don’t really believe that Christians should get active in politics do you?’ And I said, with tongue in cheek, ‘Why, of course not, we ought to leave it to the atheists, otherwise, we wouldn’t have anything to complain about. And we’d really rather complain than do something, wouldn’t we?’”

Look at the mess we’re in because many Christians have neglected this duty. Five Houston pastors were having their communications subpoenaed by the mayor because they had spoken out against the bill allowing a man to use the ladies’ room! Their emails and text messages had been demanded, to see what they have said anything against this bill.

Commenting on that case initiated by the lesbian mayor of our nation’s 4th largest city, in his Mike Huckabee News (10/19/14), he comments: “Why has this happened? It’s mainly because good church going Christians don’t vote and don’t care.”

It is a privilege to vote. It is our Christian duty to vote. So vote your biblical values. If enough evangelicals and conservative Catholics showed up and voted biblical values, we could carry this election—and virtually every election. Our nation’s founders pledged their lives, their fortunes, and the sacred honor to give us our freedom. The least we could do is vote—and vote our values.

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Categories: 2014 Columns

2 Responses so far.

  1. Rev, Paul Oppedahl says:

    An acquaintance forwarded this essay to me. Here is my response to him:

    I assure you that I will be voting based on biblical values as I have prayerfully come to understand them. I start from Jesus’ perspective that we are to love God and neighbor and that, in fact, all of the law and prophets hang on these two commandments. (Mat 22:37-40; Mark 12:28-34; Luke 10:25-37; John 13:34-35) I certainly agree with the sentiment of Proverbs 13:22, but not at the expense of enlarging the pool of the least of those in our midst. (c.f http://www.brookings.edu/research/interactives/2014/concentrated-poverty#/M10420; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_inequality_in_the_United_States;). I find it interesting that the author of your article quotes Proverbs 13:22 implying that the Obama administration is at fault when, in fact, there is data that shows otherwise. For example:

    The $1.4 trillion federal budget deficit that Obama inherited in 2009 was in a large part due to the high rate of unemployment. When millions of people were put out of work in 2008 and 2009, it resulted in far less income taxes and less economic activity to generate federal revenue. As ten million people have been put back to work, there have been billions more tax dollars generated. As a result, the deficit has been shrinking each year. The 2014 deficit is projected to be around $500 billion, the smallest deficit since 2007 and roughly 1/3 of what it was in 2009. (http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_deficit_chart.html)
    And with regard to what your author claims as biblical values, (i.e. one’s stance on abortion, traditional marriage, fiscal responsibility, and education,) are we to apply God’s mandate to love God and neighbor on an occasional basis? Does it only apply to a fetus, or does it apply to the mother of three who has to work two jobs and still can’t make ends meet? Do we really want to treat a fetus like property? Exodus 21:22-25, for example, describes a case where a pregnant woman jumps into a fight between her husband and another man and suffers injuries that cause her to miscarry. Injuries to the woman prompt the normal penalties for harming another human being: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life. Killing the woman is murder, a capital crime. The miscarriage, however, is treated as property loss, not murder. The assailant must pay a fine to the husband. The law of a life for a life does not apply. The fetus is important, but it’s not human life in the same way the pregnant woman is. How do we interpret that biblical value?
    And the bible’s view on traditional marriage? How many children did Abraham sire from how many wives? Or Jacob? Or David, or Solomon? In Paul’s First letter to the Corinthians, chapter 7, he claims that it is best to remain unmarried unless you struggle with sexual self-control, then “it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion” (v. 9) Gay or straight, what is better if you are one whom Paul would describe as struggling with your sexual self-control? Clandestine, shameful encounters? Or being in a committed, intimate, marital relationship with someone who makes you feel loved and alive and worthwhile?
    And what about the bible’s perspective on fiscal responsibility? According to the Bible, the nation of Israel had a responsibility to practice distributive social justice. Deuteronomy 15:1-11, for example, details how debts were to be forgiven every seventh year as one means of providing for the poor. Society was expected to relieve the burden of debt on those who were unable to succeed in the marketplace. Another example involves a form of tithing. Deuteronomy 14:28-29 claims that, “Every third year you shall bring out the full tithe of your produce for that year, and store it within your towns; the Levites, because they have no allotment or inheritance with you, as well as the resident aliens, the orphans, and the widows in your towns, may come and eat their fill so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work that you undertake.” This tithe was in essence a welfare tax whereby Israelite citizens were to give the equivalent of 3.3% of their annual incomes to help the disadvantaged in society – those who could not meet their own needs through agrarian or commercial means.
    As far as education, I am getting tired and impatient with writing this response. Suffice it to say, God created us with brains and expects us to be good stewards of them, to use them and exercise them in ways that have produced some of the most amazing things. And, with God’s mandate to love, I think God desires all of God’s children to have equal opportunity to cultivate our brains to its fullest capacity.
    So, am I going to vote? Yes. Will I vote biblical values? Yes. Does that mean I will vote for the candidates your author, or you, think I should vote for. Very likely not. And I am confident that God will still love us both despite ourselves.

  2. Dream Candidate says:

    Read the article. Nice.

    One question. Do you mean what you say?

    Then vote for the 2016 Dream Candidate at AmericaIdea.com.

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